Close Reach; or: Why I Never Want to Sail Ever Ever Ever

I've never particularly wanted to sail on the ocean in a sailboat, even a high-tech fancy sailboat, but this just reaffirms my decision never to sail around the world. 

Kelly and Dean have been sailing for almost three years. Their marriage was broken, but they've put it back together with this time at sea. Dean actually designed and built the sailboat, and Kelly, who's a brain surgeon (really!) is pretty good at sailing too. 

From the first pages you know this won't end well. A bizarre distress call, death metal banging through all of the radio stations, and a filthy trawler stalking though the Atlantic waters herald horror and death. 

After receiving the unnerving distress call, Kelly and Dean keep sailing east, toward South America. But they're overtaken by a ship of worse-than-pirates. Really. It's ... they're just really bad people. You have to read it to find out. Because I'm a worrywart, I try not to think about the fact that people like this even exist. But they do. I know they do. That's part of what makes this book so scary. You could imagine it happening, and you're totally helpless.

The action is pretty much nonstop, and Kelly is an extremely smart, tough heroine. I liked her very much. I particularly liked that Moore didn't paint her as a stone-cold you know what, though. She realizes that her actions have consequences, and the morality of her choices haunts her. The woman she ends up protecting, Lena, irritated me a bit at first, but I came to like her too. I cared about what happened to her. 

Unfortunately, I can't say the same about Dean, Kelly's husband. He's kind of a non-entitity. I guess he's rich and smart and all, but I couldn't get inside his head. The choices he made were really bizarre and his fate felt like a bit of an afterthought to the whole story. He existed to get Kelly on the boat, on the ocean, but after that, he was just kind of ... text, taking up space. There's also some irrational behavior when it comes to Lena's treatment, especially as the true purpose of the pirates' raid comes to light. However, the pure adrenaline this story injects into your veins helps you gloss over that. I raced through this like ... like I was trying to outrun murderous pirates. 

As I mentioned, I'm no sailor, but the descriptions of sailing seemed pretty spot-on, and so were the medical scenes. That makes the second novel in as many weeks that I've read that describes a detailed resetting of a dislocated joint. I still don't know if I could do it, though. 

Definitely recommended for fans of dark thrillers.

Note: I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I could not sleep last night and so I grabbed the latest Netgalley approved book.... and it was this, and I finally was able to sleep at 9AM.. HAHAHA OMG this book was awesome! LOVE YOUR REVIEWS! ( found you off the authors twitter)

  2. I've finished many books thanks to insomnia! :D I'm glad you like the reviews--I love writing them.


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